[News] Refugee Talent, a New Force for Companies in Japan: Leveraging IT, Language Skills, and Adversity Experience

In the quest for global talent to work in Japan, the country is turning its eyes towards a new and untapped workforce: refugees. Despite facing a stringent refugee recognition process, these individuals bring a wealth of IT skills, language abilities, and resilience that can significantly bolster the Japanese workforce.

Refugee Talent as a Force for Companies

Refugees and asylum seekers who have come to Japan to escape political persecution and conflict are gaining attention as a new force for companies grappling with labor shortages. Despite the government’s passive stance on acceptance, these refugees are enhancing corporate diversity and competitiveness with their IT skills, language abilities, and resilience in overcoming adversity.

Real-Life Examples

For instance, at Yamaha Motor, a refugee from Africa is contributing to customer acquisition and market research. Also, a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo is developing a program using AI technology at NetEntries. These refugees are establishing their positions as corporate members through learning Japanese, overcoming language barriers.

Increasing of the highly skilled human resource in Japan (Immigration Services Agency of Japan)

Diversity and Foreign Talent

As the importance of diversity grows, interest in foreign talent, especially refugee talent, is increasing. The NPO “WELgee” is supporting the employment of refugees, having realized the employment of about 30 refugees so far.

Hiring Refugees

Hiring refugees is also beneficial for companies. Refugees, with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, can enhance a company’s global competitiveness. At Adawarp Japan, a refugee from Afghanistan is thriving as a leader in an engineering role.

Internationally as well, interest in employing refugees is rising. Amazon has declared to employ at least 5,000 refugees in the United States over three years.

Challenges in Refugee Recognition

However, the process of refugee recognition is a significant barrier for many refugees. Refugee recognition in Japan is strict, with only 187 out of 7,237 applicants being recognized in 2017.


Hiring refugee talent offers new opportunities for companies. Refugees, with diverse skills and experiences, can enhance corporate competitiveness. However, the strictness of the refugee recognition process is obstructing the employment path for refugees. Solving this issue will allow refugees to contribute even more to the development of Japanese society and economy.